Men at Work – One Of Australia’s Finest Rock Bands Ever

Men at Work were one of the finest Australian rock bands of the 1980s. Formed initially in Melbourne in 1978, the band would later know national and international success with their debut studio album entitled ‘Business as Usual‘ which was released in 1981. Their debut studio album was a very interesting and catchy mixture of new wave, reggae rock, and pop rock which secured them constant airplay on radio.

The frontal cover artwork of ‘The Best Of Men At Work’ compilation which was released in 1996. Image source:

The Men at Work road sign in real life. Image source:

Business as Usual‘ contained the fantastic hit song ‘Down Under‘ and also ‘Who Can It Be Now?‘. The album was a major commercial breakthrough for the band, propelling them to worldwide stardom and gathering them many fans in the process. They also won the Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best New Artist‘ in 1983, their only such award. Aside from it, the band was nominated and won several musical awards in their native Australia.

The classic line-up of Men at Work in the 1980s. Image source:

During the early to mid 1980s, the band continued their discographical path with ‘Cargo‘ in 1983 and ‘Two Hearts‘ in 1985. Their first studio albums were very well met by critics and music magazines. However, even with their tremendous commercial and critical success (along with many new fans around the world), the band officially came to an end in 1986, after some line-up problems in 1984 and 1985 which saw several members of the classic line-up leaving the band permanently.

The classic line-up of Men at Work in the 1980s, more specifically in 1983. From left to right: Jerry Speiser (drums and backing vocals), Ron Strykert (guitars and backing vocals), John Rees (bass guitar and backing vocals), Colin Hay (lead vocals), and Greg Ham (saxophone, flute, keyboards, and backing vocals). Image source: Commons Wikimedia

Nevertheless, frontman Colin Hay re-founded the band twice, firstly in 1996 (along with charismatic former band member Greg Ham) and once more in 2019. The first re-founding of the band lasted from 1996 until 2002 whereas the second one is still active to this day with a brand new line-up that only includes frontman Colin Hay as the only original band member.

A wonderful .gif animation. Image source:

In my humble opinion, their music is best defined by intelligent humour, anti-war themes, subtle allegations to English literature (e.g. to Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘), and overall fun and good vibes (not to mention vegemite)! There are also quite magical, mystical, and relaxing songs such as ‘Down By the Sea‘ which I love very much!

Below are some of my all time most favourite songs from their discography. I truly hope you will like them! All the best and rock on!

Documentation sources and external links:

  1. Men at Work on (in English)
  2. Men at Work discography on (in English)
  3. Business as Usual (Men at Work studio album) on (in English)
  4. Cargo (Men at Work studio album) on (in English)
  5. Two Heats (Men at Work studio album) on (in English)

See also:

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